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The day after the shocking revelation about Abby's paternity, the family gathered at a mainland clinic for DNA testing. Angela clenched Abby's hand in her own as she nervously waited for the nurse to come in and make the announcement that could change all of their lives forever.

Abby grinned and seemed to be enjoying taunting Bel and Marty. "Daddy, get me a Coke. Other Daddy, can I have a cookie, too?"
Marty glared at Bel and then back at his daughter. "Abby, this is not the time for jokes. What happens here now can affect the rest of our lives."
Abby rolled her eyes and sighed dramatically. "Why can't you be like my other daddy?"
Bel was leaning against a wall, arms crossed over his chest. "Don't tell my daughter what to do, Blank," he said.
"She's not your daughter," Marty growled. "You've never been there for her! You didn't even know she could have been yours!"
"Yeah, Other Daddy," Abby contributed, "How come you didn't come looking for me? You don't really love me."
Angela's nails bit into the back of Abby's hand. "This is already hard enough," she said, in a voice thick with tears unshed. "Could you two both please be peaceful? For your daughter, if not for me?"

"And that goes for you, too," she added to Abby.
"Oh, please," Abby said rolling her eyes and jerking her hand away. "Like it wasn't you who got us into this mess."
"Don't talk to your mother that way!" Marty snapped.
"Yell at her again and I fireball you right here," Bel threatened. "And I didn't look for you because I didn't know about you, sweetheart. Your mother only told me this weekend." He looked back at Marty, and Bel being Bel, and Marty being the second-place recipient of his glares (the first being Logan, but that was a whole other story), he smirked and said, "Not my fault you couldn't keep your girlfriend satisfied, and she had to find a real man. Or demon."
"I love Marty," Angela said sharply. "Whatever happened between us was a mistake, and I told you that then!" Though her eyes lingered on Bel for a moment that ran a trifle longer than her sharp words would seem to require.
Abby just looked kind of grossed out at the thought of old people and satisfaction. "Ew," she contributed succinctly.
Marty caught the look Angela gave Bel and scowled. And then glared at Bel again because that was the only proper thing to do.

"Let's just get this over with," he declared keeping his anger in check.
"Yeah," Abby replied. "The sooner the better. I met this hot guy named Tino and we're hooking up later."
Bel's glare softened when he looked to Angela. He didn't bear her any ill will about the situation, other than not telling him sooner. Their encounter had gone the way it had partially out of the guilt he still bore about the Source tormenting her. And, well, because she was hot. He wasn't sure how he was going to explain all this to Phoebe and Anders. There were a lot of things he wasn't sure he could explain to them.

His gaze shifted back to Abby. "Tino? Tino the bartender? No. Not going to happen. Over Marty's dead body."
That was when the nurse walked in, and all eyes turned to her anxiously. "I have the results right here," she said, holding up a piece of paper. But as she spoke, she stumbled, falling against a counter. She dropped the piece of paper, and as she tried to steady herself, her flailing hand knocked over a pot of coffee. It fell to the floor, shattering and drenching the paper. The nurse quickly recovered her balance and grabbed the paper. It tore as she pulled it from the floor, and the coffee had blurred the ink, making the words completely unreadable.

"Oh, dear," she said. "I'm afraid I'm going to have to take blood from you all again and re-run the DNA test."
Angela broke down in disbelieving sobs. After carrying the secret for so long and coming so close to having the question of her daughter's paternity resolved once and for all, to lose it was almost unbearable. "But the computer backup ..."
"Our systems crashed and ate all the data. We were lucky we even got this printout," the nurse said, smiling in a way that was the facial equivalent of a shrug. "Miss Chase-Blank, you're up first."
Abby rolled her eyes once more and headed back to the exam room -- "See you soon, Mom, Daddy, Other Daddy" -- and left the adults to resume their glaring.
Marty stood up and shook his head. Had it really come down to this? Was it really just a matter of what blood coursed through his veins?

He watched Angela crying for a moment and reached out to touch her.

"Angela. Stop crying. It doesn't matter any more," he declared and got down on one knee. "It doesn't matter what happened. It doesn't matter whose daughter Abby really is. Deep down I know that I love you and her. The rest of it doesn't matter to me. The world can burn down around me and it just doesn't matter.... because I love you. Only you. And that's all that matters."

...

"That and the fact I went through nine hours of labor delivering Abby."
Bel rolled his eyes. If Abby was his daughter, no force on Earth or the Underworld would keep him from her. He'd always wanted to have children so he could raise them in a way to make up for his own woeful childhood. But, on the other hand, he really didn't want to stick around and listen to Marty gush about the miracle of childbirth, and he had other Deeply Important Business to attend to. "They got enough of my blood the first time," he said. "Let me know when you get the results." He shot a final glare at Marty and shimmered out of the room.
Angela barely noticed Bel had gone as she fell to her own knees and took Marty's hands. "I love you too," she vowed. "And if you aren't her biological father, you'll always be her real father, after all these years."

Or, you know, three weeks.

"Nothing will rip our family apart, my love."
"And nothing will come between us again," Marty said as he reached into his pocket. "I should have done this a long... long time ago. I meant to ask you before she was born but..."

He pulled out a small ring box and popped it open to show an engagement ring.

"Since the day we started on this crazy path together, I always thought that there would be no room in my heart but for you. Now with our daughter you've shown me just how wrong I was. There's too much love and craziness in this world for us to ignore and if I'm to embrace it all I want to do it with you."

Tears glistened in his eyes as reached out to touch her cheek. "Marry me, Angela. Make me the happiest man alive."
Angela nodded and collapsed into his arms, covering his face with kisses. "I can't imagine a better path in life than one walked by your side, Marty," she answered. "I'm yours. I always have been." And with that she leaned forward to devour his mouth.
Which was when Abby came out of the exam room. "Gross," she announced. "I'm gonna go find Tino."
Angela and Marty barely noticed.


[OOC: Preplayed with [livejournal.com profile] oatmanspatient and [livejournal.com profile] demonbelthazor, who rock the socks. NFB due to distance.]
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Angela Chase

May 2015

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